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Functional Medicine Approach to Stress with Dr. Laura DeCesaris

Dr Laura DeCesaris, a functional medicine doctor who serves as a health and performance coach for busy driven women joined us for a bonus episode of the Less Stress In Life podcast recently to talk about a functional medicine approach to stress, the effects of stress hormones on other parts of the hormonal system and why taking a functional medicine approach to stress is a more effective approach to long term stress management. Dr. Laura’s goal in her practice is to help female entrepreneurs align their brain and body for optimal health, so they can maintain their high performance lifestyle without burning out.

Functional Medicine vs. Traditional Medicine

Dr. Laura became interested in functional medicine after dealing with her own health issues in her early 20’s. Diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, a chronic autoimmune thyroid condition. Dr. Laura felt the only option offered by traditional allopathic medicine was being on medication for life. “I was too stubborn to accept that being on thyroid medication for the rest of my life was the only option I had,” said Dr. Laura. So, she started researching and found Functional Medicine providers, who looked at  nutrition, lifestyle, stress, sleep, and hormone health, and how they worked together to result in symptoms and conditions.

Allopathic or conventional medicine is our typical healthcare system in which a problem, like a headache, bloating or constipation, is solved with a prescription for something to get rid of that symptom. Dr. Laura pointed out that the allopathic model is particularly good for identifying diseases for emergency medicine and for infections, but for some chronic inflammatory disorders, like autoimmune illness, IBS, and gut issues, that approach is not always effective. Functional medicine’s root-cause based, preventative and comprehensive approach is, because of the multi-faceted look.

Stress affects chronic health conditions on a cellular level.

In recent years, we have been focused on the emotional effects of stress, but it even causes issues at the cellular level, which can ramp up inflammatory pathways, impact other hormones and zap nutrient stores increasing the demands on your body, so it is important to get stress controlled and managed. Stress hormones affect all the other hormones in the body when stress is prolonged, so estrogen – progesterone, thyroid hormones and sleep hormones are all affected.

You can listen to the entire podcast or check out the full transcript here.